New banks shake up ‘old’ online practices

A host of new mobile-only banks, called néobanques, like Orange Bank, N26, Revolut or Morning have sparked changes to traditional online-only finance houses.

The new banks’ use of technology and smartphone apps helps to cut costs and speeds up business for users, leaving ‘old’ banks such as market leader ING Direct, Fortun­eo, Boursorama, or Axa Banque looking dated.

Now the ‘old’ online banks are responding by borrowing from the new arrivals and giving the client more power.

New customer service benefits include more use of chat or video chat at ING Direct as well as the direct display of transactions, card blocking or unblocking at a click and the ability to change pin numbers at any time.

At Axa, clients’ first contacts are with a call centre but can quickly move to contact with an agent in an Axa office, for larger transactions like property. This is an area where the old online banks have an advantage as most offer mortgages.

Néobanques focus on current accounts, although Orange and N26 offer loans.

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